Remedy Barre class

Remedy Barre class focusing on a reverse chair pose.


Let me start by sharing that I am not a fitness person by any definition of the word. I’ve joined gyms, taken weightlifting, yoga and Zumba classes, and none of them held my interest long enough to make a difference. 

In the spirit of “new year, new me,” I decided to try something else: Barre. To find out what Barre is all about, I researched two Arcadia studios, Pure Barre on 4219 E. Indian School Road and Remedy Pilates & Barre in the Gaslight Complex at 36th St. and Indian School Road. 

To really get the lowdown, though, I knew I would have to try a class for myself. I headed to Pure Barre and figured I’d be mastering ballet moves in no time. I should have done more research. 

Here are a few thoughts: 

“Okay, no shoes, this is a good start.”

“What is my leg supposed to be doing?”

“A plank? Nooo!”

“I love this song!”

“Oh no, I can’t feel my body.”

According to Owner Kaitlin McClellan, Barre is an athletic approach to dance and Pilates. It’s a full-body workout influenced by ballet, Pilates and yoga, with low-impact, high-intensity moves that strengthen from the inside out.

McClellan has owned the Phoenix and central Phoenix locations since July 2021.

“The community at Pure Barre is incredible. Our goal is to have guests come into an inclusive environment where they can leave everything at the door for 50 minutes a day, work out and have fun,” McClellan said. 

And work out, I did. My class was small – only 11 of us – and started with a warm-up, which meant lots of moves in a short time. The first thing I noticed was the ballet bar, and I was excited until I realized that there were no pirouettes or Grande Jetés happening that day. 

We moved on to arm workouts, thighs and core. McClellan explained that there are three types of Barre: classic (my class), empower – cardio-focused, and reform, which is more Pilates-focused. 

We used the ballet bar for leg lifts and balance during the workout, two and three-pound weights, tubes, and rubber balls – which I was glad to have during the core workout because my body did not want to stay upright. 

The class went surprisingly fast, and it took me a minute to get my legs moving normally and my body into the car. My final observation: there are muscles I didn’t know I had, and boy did they hurt. I also felt amazing and ready to conquer my day. 

McClellan said that it takes around five classes to understand the techniques used. 

“Give it time and, most importantly, have fun,” she said. 

For the science of the workout, I reached out to Kelly Snailum at Remedy.

“A good workout should be all levels and include large, multi-joint movements for length in the muscle and isolated, single-joint short or isometric moves, like pulses, for strength,” Snailum said. “In addition, cardio-based intervals are incorporated to elevate the heart rate for the complete package.”

Snailum has been an owner and a master teacher/trainer at Remedy since 2008, with the Arcadia location opening in 2018. She explained that Barre fitness has been around for decades – starting in New York – but gained popularity in 2010. 

“Small studios were popping up all over the place, but when franchises were launching in every city, by 2015, the word was out,” she said. Remedy added Barre classes to their schedule in 2012. 

“Barre classes do not require a dance background. You might be disappointed if you’re expecting a ballet class,” Snailum said. “Classes bring out an inner strength. Working through the burn of isolations and the shake of muscle fatigue becomes as much a mental challenge as physical. People get sweaty, feel strong and leave with a sense of accomplishment.”

See what I mean? No ballet – but accomplishment, yes!

“Barre fitness formats attempt to create a dancer’s physique without the years of dance experience,” she said. “The more often you come, the quicker the results. Clients typically share more about how their clothes fit and their posture before measures of success like weight loss.”

Snailum also mentioned that the low-impact approach to fitness is more of a lifestyle change that incorporates wellness and appeals to all levels. Barre uses light weights, multiple reps, and intentional engagement instead of traditional weight lifting and cardio options while using every muscle and elevating heart rates. 

Pure Barre offers drop-in classes for $25, plus 4, 8- or 10-class packages. Both Pure and Remedy offer unlimited memberships. 

Remedy offers an unlimited monthly option for $99, or folks can buy packages ranging from $15-$20 per class.

Here’s what I learned: if you like cardio, good music, small classes and not wearing shoes to work out, Barre might be for you!